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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.

Leaves of Absence

There are two kinds of leaves:

  • personal leaves, when you don’t expect to transfer credit back to your Smith record
  • approved off-campus study leave for full-time study elsewhere

Normally, you can only be on leave of any kind for two consecutive semesters:  if you wish to stay away for a third semester, speak with your dean.  


A personal leave can be requested via ONE of the following:

A study abroad or study in the U.S. leave can be requested via the following:

Consult with the Office for International Study for deadlines for study abroad.

Consult with the Registrar’s Office to submit your transfer credit application for full-time study elsewhere in the U.S. and to have your credits pre-approved.

Returning to Smith


The Office of the Registrar and the Office of Residence Life will email you materials about registration and housing during the semester immediately preceding your scheduled return.

Remember to check your Smith email even if you are away!

Rescinding a Personal Leave

If you decide to rescind your leave of absence and return to Smith, you must notify your class dean in writing (email is fine). You should do so as soon as possible. Include your ID number and specify the semester you intend to return. Students who rescind a leave can register for courses once registration opens during add/drop. A new registration code will be required from your adviser.


Students who rescind a leave of absence are housed on a space-available basis. Contact the housing coordinator in residential life for more information.

If you wish to take a leave from a yearlong study abroad program, you must consult with the Office for International Study. You may be required to withdraw, depending on the program.